May Precipitation for the Southern Plains and Rockies?
For the past few weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about the record cold and snow for many areas of the USA in March and especially April. For good reason, April was a record month in regards to cold and precipitation (especially snow) for many areas of the northern and central Rockies and many areas of plains and Midwest.
Record cold temperatures and snows last week made headlines from the east slopes of the Rockies to the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas where the heavies May snows since 1819 and the latest spring snow since 1903 fell over the past week!
Soil temperatures remain well below normal in many areas of the northern and western Corn Belt and planting remains well behind schedule in many areas.
However, we will now take a look at the prospect of some of the areas that have been missing a lot of the stormy weather that other folks have endured for the past couple of months, such as, the far southern plains, the southern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. By and large those areas have been drier than normal and in some areas, severely dry (such as far west Texas and New Mexico).
For example, as of this writing, Albuquerque, New Mexico has only received 0.60” of precipitation since January 1 (1.52 inches below normal), Clayton, NM only 0.80”, 1.93” below normal and Roswell, NM 0.44”, 1.64” below normal. It is not much better in west Texas, Dalhart, TX only 0.86” since January 1 and 2.59” below normal. Salem, OR only 7.65” has fallen since January 1 and is 10.03” below normal for the year to date.
The good news for the above mentioned areas is that weather patterns developing this month may bring some relief from the dryness. We will see a more active storm track develop over the Pacific Northwest over the next two weeks. This will result in cool and wet weather potential for portions of Washington, Oregon, northern California and portions of Idaho. Also, there is some hope that badly needed rains may return to many areas of New Mexico and west Texas over the next two weeks, especially over northern and eastern New Mexico. Rain and thunderstorm activity may also increase over the rest of Texas and all of Oklahoma, Kansas and eastern Colorado.
Temperatures will still struggle in many areas to get to normal or above normal from the Rockies east as recent cold and snow will hamper a big warm up for a little longer in many areas. Normal or below normal temperatures will persist for another week for many areas from the plains to the Great Lakes and all the way to the east coast.